Skip to main content

The Markle Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-08-18

At A Glance

The Markle Foundation

(formerly John and Mary R. Markle Foundation)

(also known as The John and Mary R. Markle Foundation)

10 Rockefeller Plz., 16th Fl.

New York City, NY United States 10020-1903

Telephone: (212) 713-7600


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2015-06-30)

Assets: $141,121,456

Total giving: $833,667






Incorporated in 1927 in NY - John Markle was born in Hazleton, PA, the son of an anthracite operator, inventor, and financier. He grew up in coal country and studied mining engineering at Lafayette College, from which he graduated in 1880. That same year he was called on to manage the family enterprises when his father became ill. He served successfully as director of George B. Markle and Co. for nearly fifty years and was known throughout the coal industry for his extensive reclamation of mines inundated by the great flood of 1886. John Markle believed that a man who has funds beyond those needed for living expenses becomes "a trustee for his fellow man and should so use those funds." When he and Mrs. Markle, the former Mary E. Robinson, moved to New York City in 1902, he devoted himself to philanthropy as well as to his business interests. The Markle Foundation's first major interest was in traditional social welfare. Its second program, begun in 1936, centered on medicine and provided small grants-in-aid for individual research projects. In 1947, the foundation created the Markle Scholars-in-Medicine program in response to a need for more teachers, researchers, and administrators in the nation's medical schools. This program awarded grants to gifted practitioners planning to further their careers in academic medicine. The foundation began seeking new approaches to "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge" when it decided in 1969 to focus on mass communications in a democratic society. Emerging information and communication technologies possess enormous potential to improve people's lives. Markle works to realize this potential and to accelerate the use of these technologies to address critical public needs, particularly in the areas of health and national security.

Purpose and Activities

The mission of the foundation is to use emerging communication and information technologies to address critical public needs, with emphasis on health, and national and economic security.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Health Program

The program is dedicated to accelerating the rate at which information technology enables consumers and the health system that supports them to improve health and health care. The effective use of IT in health care presents an opportunity to move critical medical information where and when it is needed in a secure and private manner. The Markle Foundation's Health Program is dedicated to ensuring that the primary beneficiary of this opportunity is the patient. The program includes several individual projects that pertain to this area. More information is available on the foundation's web site.

National Security Program

The National Security Program is focused on how to best mobilize information and information technology to improve national security while protecting civil liberties. The program includes several individual projects pertaining to national security. More information is available on the foundation's web site.

Program-Related Investment

Historically, the foundation has made PRIs support for-profits whose activities correspond to foundation programs and would not receive conventional financing. Repayment of investment is required if projects generate profits. PRIs have capitalized business ventures and provided interim financing.

Fields of Interest

  • Philanthropy
  • Public affairs
  • Public policy
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Families
  • Females
  • Low-income and poor people

Financial Data

Year ended 2015-06-30

Assets: $141,121,456 (market value)

Expenditures: $19,947,382

Total giving: $833,667

Qualifying distributions: $16,483,598